Many businesses find it all too easy to persuade themselves that exhibiting at trade shows or exhibitions is a waste of their time or money. Typical excuses include “we won’t see a return on our investment in exhibiting”, “we could spend the time more profitably or productively” or “it will be too difficult to stand out against our competitors”.
In reality, trade shows and exhibitions are an invaluable marketing and sales opportunity for business, but they also provide a host of additional benefits that more than justify any initial investment in exhibition equipment.
For any business that believes exhibiting is an unprofitable or unproductive exercise, the industry experts at custom exhibition stand contractors Aspect Exhibitions urge you to take a look at the following 10 compelling reasons why you should exhibit.
1. Generate new leads and sales
The majority of exhibition and trade show visitors are typically budget-holders or purchasing decision-makers who are actively seeking products, services and suppliers. Effectively, an exhibition provides a captive audience of potential customers for your product. Staffing your exhibition stand with your most experienced and capable sales people should enable you to generate new sales leads and close sales easily and cost-effectively.
2. Build and promote brand awareness
Exhibitions and trade shows provide unparalleled opportunities to raise awareness of your business and amongst the people who count. A unique and eye-catching custom-built exhibition stand which clearly displays your business name, brand or logo will attract potential customers and provide increased exposure for your products and services.
3. Obtain free customer insight and feedback
Exhibitions are attended by people who know about and use the products and services you sell. These visitors are a priceless source of opinion and feedback that can help you refine, develop and improve every aspect of your business offering. Conducting a simple survey or focus group with the visitors to your exhibition stand can provide the kind of valuable data that you might otherwise pay an external research agency to collect on your behalf.
4. Effectively trial or launch a new product
There are few better places to trial a prototype or to launch a new product than at a trade show or exhibition. Hands-on product demonstrations with the people who are most likely to purchase will not only create a buzz among the community about your new product but can also provide useful information as to how a prototype might be modified or improved before its final release to market.
5. Gain competitor intelligence
What is it that your business competitors do differently or better. Are their products or services more popular and profitable than yours? Which direction is their business moving in? In an exhibition hall filled with businesses that operate in the same market space it’s easy –and free – to discover exactly what the competition is up to, and to use this information to enhance your own business.
6. Establish beneficial business partnerships
Taking time to explore an exhibition or trade show and talk to other exhibitors may reveal the potential to form mutually beneficial relationships with businesses that complement or are affiliated with your own.
7. Strengthen existing customer relationships
By inviting existing customers to visit them at a trade show or exhibition, companies that lack sufficient resources to arrange regular meetings gain the opportunity to talk face-to-face with existing customers, helping to build trust and satisfaction, strengthen existing business relationships and perhaps explore opportunities for further business.
8. Obtain free media publicity for your business
Larger trade shows and exhibitions are often routinely visited by journalists for industry publications or for the local press. Engaging journalists and offering to be interviewed about your experiences at the show or to give your opinion can be a useful, free way of gaining publicity for your brand in print and online.
9. Build trust with new and potential customers
Reaching out to new and potential customers face-to-face at an exhibition or trade show is a far more positive and effective means of generating leads and sales than traditional cold-calling or speculative email marketing campaigns. Establishing a dialogue in person at the show not only makes follow-up calls or emails an easier proposition because you have already met the recipient, but also increases the likelihood of their success.
10. Gain valuable experience for future exhibitions
Once you have invested in a well-designed and high-quality exhibition stand this can be used at events for years to come. Every exhibition or trade show you attend offers the opportunity to monitor your performance, discover what works and what doesn’t and enable you to refine and improve your approach to exhibiting in order to gain the maximum benefit from every show you attend.